Parkinson Memorial School is looking to tackle school violence one happy moment at a time, while praying for some divine intervention.
Principal Ian Holder suggested many of the students involved in the recent upsurge in violence were seeking attention because there was virtually no love in their lives.
In this regard, Holder said, ordinary Barbadians should encourage and compliment the youth with whom the come into contact.
“If everyone tries when they meet students or when they meet other persons every day to give them a happy moment even if they only pass with them for ten seconds but let those ten seconds do something for them,” he said during the school’s recent annual speech day.
“Give them a word of encouragement, tell them something about their dress – only a little word but a happy moment. If you try that in your life giving a happy moment to everyone that you meet I am telling you that the world would change and that is what we want to do at Parkinson.”
While some secondary schools such as Darryl Jordan, Frederick Smith, Grantley Adams Memorial, St Leonard’s Boys’ and The Ellerslie School, have had their share of stabbings and cutlass attacks in recent weeks, Holder said Parkinson Memorial did not have any conflicts in the last academic term.
He attributed this to a student development programme with God at the centre of it, and efforts by teachers to show a bit more love to the students.
“We are making sure that in our pastoral care that our teachers give that extra bit of love to our students because I can tell you that there are a lot of talks now of the problems in society with our youth and who is to blame – blame the parents, blame the teachers, blame the church, but if all you do is blame there would be no solution,” he said.
“There are students who are born into this world and never get anyone to tell them I love you. Their parents don’t really be there for them, when they come to school they have difficulty, they are going to be difficult because they haven’t been encouraged and loved at home, they haven’t been taught the right things.
“Teachers [don’t] have the time to deal with them properly as they have 30 students in the class and these children are backed at every obstacle in their lives, they just keep getting pushed back. When they finish school at sixteen, what do they do? If these students, even if they are not bright, even if they are faced with difficulties, there is someone to step in the valley for them and say I love you, it would make a difference to their lives in the future,” Holder argued.